In our last milestone we identified that digital citzenship critical awareness was an area for development. The co-ordinators planned some professional development around developing a 'Digital Citizenship Pathway' in schools; we were inspired by a similar model used by Pt. England School that was shared on the VLN (https://sites.google.com/a/ptengland.school.nz/cybersmart/home/continuum).
This PD and pathway needs to be personalised by each school to meet their needs and to allow staff to have ownership over the pathway.
At Somerset Cres we carried out this PD over two sessions on the first Monday and Tuesday this term. We went through the powerpoint, carried out the activities and un-packed the pathway model to suit our school and community.
It was a good starting point for us and really encouraged awareness of the importance of digital citizenship in todays classrooms and indeed, society!
The blog based nature of the existing pathway from Pt England suited us as our class blogs will form a sound base for children to learn and develop an 'online ettiquette' The teachers at SCS had input and extended the Digital Footprint section from year two by changing the wording to 'when online, eg blogs...' so that it did not appear to limit this area to solely blogs. Other staff ownership also came in the form of adding in that our facebook page is a viable means of communication within the parents and whanau section.
Staff enjoyed re-visiting (and hearing about for the first time for some newer staff) creative commons. This was very timely with the school taking part in the upcoming Digi Awards!
It was good to hear that staff generally wanted to input more of the pathway components into classrooms at earlier year groups within the school rather than 'leave it till they're older'.
Digital Citizenship & Cyber Safety PD
What new learning has occurred for you?
What was reinforced?
What was challenged?
Within the classroom this PD has reinforced that even at a Junior level it is important to allow students opportunities to explore and use the digital tools we have available to us. The scaffolded learning starts in the juniors. By denying them access by not seeing the importance of this learning or thinking that are too young, you set back their learning. The challenge is often to bring the parents along with this way of thinking.
If one has a matrix of what should be taught within a year level, is there a temptation to only teach to this rather than introducing the learning as it s needed. We felt that some of the areas within the suggested pathway could be taught at a more junior level if the context was appropriate.
The PD was focused around blogs, which may only be the tip of the iceberg. We need to be able to apply our understanding of ‘good’ citizenship across all forms of digital interaction.
The PD was a great way for us to start talking about what we see as a digital pathway and what we expect students to learn in each year. Currently our school is undertaking a consultation process before setting any 'pathways'. From an individual's point of view this pathway gives a great insight into what others are doing and a tick box approach (which some of us really appreciate) to teaching E-learning. We felt it was a good platform to start from and will use it to refer in part to in our upcoming schoolwide planning.
At SJS this PD linked in very well with the earlier professional development teachers had done around Creative Commons and Information literacy earlier this year. It also linked in with their knowledge that they had developed in previous years of the Cluster around the use of blogs/cybersafety.
Along with this term's professional reading, teachers have developed their knowledge of what 'Digital Citizenship' is and have been provided with skills and resources to help teach this when it is appropriate in their programme. Teachers had input into personalising this for our school, with most of the changes being made in the Parent/Whanau section. Posters are now being displayed in classes, so that children are aware of what it means to be a digital citizen and this is beginning to be taught in classroom programmes. The full impact of this PD will become apparent over time.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP AT TERRACE END SCHOOL
At Terrace End School the professional development in digital citizenship occurred across 2 staff meetings, lead by the ICT lead teacher. The material provided by our coordinators was excellent. It was easy to follow and gave the staff a lot of new understanding about what children need to become digital citizens. During these meetings we outlined what was needed for our own digital citizenship pathway, which once finalised will be included in our curriculum delivery folders.
As a staff we have decided not to use blogs, hence all references to this have been removed. If this changes we will review our digital citizenship pathway then. We also discussed ways that we could up skill our parents and whanau more effectively in regards to digital citizenship and it was decided that an excerpt in our newsletter would be a good way to start to get the word out. This excerpt will also be a good addition to our facebook page. We will also be making it a requirement to share with parents and whanau during our first sharing day each year.
Teachers at TES are already teaching children safe practises of using the internet. In the junior school this involves a lot of out-loud thinking and role playing, such as password protection and discussions about what should and should not be done on the computers. This then develops into problem solving and specific instructions about web-safety. We have found senior children at TES to have a lot of website knowledge, in some cases more so than the teachers. Discussion about going onto appropriate sites and what to do when something inappropriate arises on a search is frequently discussed. We are finding the children are quite mature during these discussions. It is great that we now have specific guidelines to follow as we will now ensure all areas are covered.